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Observatory Notes
My thoughts, observations, and notes regarding events specific to Gaia Online.
The Last Note
For some reason, I found myself reminded of Gaia Online. Looking at the dates of my journal entries, it's been years since I last posted in this journal. I never realised it, but at some point, Gaia Online dropped off the radar. Maybe my life changed too much. Maybe I got too busy with other things. In any case, over the past few weeks culminating to just a few days ago, I feel like something has really changed within me. For a want of a better description, I feel that I've come 'full circle'.

As I sit here typing this journal entry, there's a feeling I can't fully describe. It's the kind of feeling you get when you go on a long journey and experience many things along the way, and then you reach a place where you see some things that remind you of times past. It's comforting, but at the same time, it's not. I feel the time has come to summarise my past experiences and close this chapter in my life.

---

I joined Gaia at the advice of a good friend of whom I've been out of contact with for years. At some point, years after I'd joined this site and they'd stopped coming here, they asked me whether I "still play Gaia Online." They reacted with surprise when I told them that I still visited this site.

A lot of my time on Gaia Online was spent in Gaia Fishing. At that time, users could name their fishing rooms. Depending on where I was fishing, my room names were Bass'ken Observatory, Gambino Observatory, and Durem Observatory. I met some nice people and had some lengthy conversations here and there, and then I discovered the Top Fishers guild.

I was hesitant at first but ended up joining this guild. I've already described in some detail my experiences with this guild and its members, but the significance of my decision to join this guild cannot be overstated. I began playing the MMORPG 'Maplestory' after reading a thread in the Top Fishers guild, and I found the game to be entertaining enough. But what really made it all worthwhile was the company I had. I met people and had experiences, and though not everything that happened was positive, overall, my memories of my time in Maplestory with my guildmates is something I look back upon with fondness and gratitude.

Who were we all then? I think most of us were young adults or adolescents in our mid to late teens or early twenties. We were people of varying personalities, but we were united in our common interests, either for a love of just hanging out with each other while playing or from our backgrounds in Gaia Fishing. We weren't just guildmates or online friends. In my view, we were like a family.

After looking up videos on YouTube related to Maplestory's OST, listening to all those music tracks brought back such feelings and memories. The feelings the music evoked were almost surreal to experience, and as I read comments from people expressing their nostalgia, comments ranging from "RIP" to "crying" and so on, I felt a connection to them, because I knew exactly how they all felt. I was one of possibly hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of young people making memories and friends while playing this game, and now, in this age of the internet and social media, we all look back on something that we all held dear to our hearts.

Indeed, it was our connection with others that was the most important thing.

Amidst all the nostalgia, there were some words of wisdom:

"Do not cry for what you have lost.
Cherish for what you have experienced."


Everything has a beginning, a period of growth, and then decline. When something has passed its time, appreciate it for what it was and what it taught you, then let it go. Holding on to the past, to something that belonged to another time and that can never be brought back, will only bring you pain. People move on with their lives. Situations change. Connections are made and broken. Everything has its time and place.

Gaia Online saw me through some really rough moments of my life. Because I joined this site, I met people who I was just able to enjoy spending time with either fishing, chatting, or playing games with outside of Gaia. When I couldn't turn to my 'real-life' family for support, I turned to my 'online family'. I defeated depression, and I did it without any 'professional' help. Whether they knew it or not, it might not have seemed like much at the time, but the people I spent time online with all those years ago did more for me than they might ever know. Wherever or whoever they are now, I hope they're doing well.

---

Time marches on inexorably. How will we spend each day? Where will our thoughts turn? How will we treat those around us?

If I could go back to my past self and give him some advice, it might go something like this:

It is these common, everyday encounters with the people who are close to us that matter the most. Though these daily happenings may seem trivial and it might be easy to take people you see every day for granted, you never know if or when you'll see these people again. The difference between a kind word or a harsh one can often be the difference between a positive memory or a negative one. What kind of being do you want to be? What kinds of memories do you want to create?

Appreciate the good things you are fortunate to enjoy and learn from the so-called 'negative' experiences. Wherever there is conflict, there is almost always a lesson to be learned or a trial to be overcome.


---

With that said, I feel that Gaia has lost its relevance in my life. When I came here, 1 million Gaia gold was considered a fairly significant amount of currency. The environment has changed. Many people have moved on. That's not to say that there aren't good people here on Gaia Online. I just can't help but feel that I've lingered here long enough, that I belong somewhere else, and that the time to move on is now.

In closing, I look back on all the people I've been privileged enough to know as friends, no matter how long or short, to the conversations we had, the memories we made, the laughs, the arguments, and everything in between, not in sadness, but in gratitude.

Thank you, everyone. Thank you for everything. The memories we shared live on and warm our hearts even as the online haunts we once frequented lie cold and empty.

Move forward, allowing your past to settle where it belongs. Remember what's truly important, and appreciate the things you currently have. When one door closes, another opens. Be kind as much as you can, if not because you aspire to be a better person, then because you might not get another chance.


IxianMace
Community Member
IxianMace
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